High Risk Breast Cancer Program and Genetic Evaluation
The average woman in the United States has a 12 percent lifetime
risk for breast cancer. But who is the average woman?
This program is designed to determine your personalized lifetime risk of
developing breast cancer by evaluating both your family profile and the
well-defined National Cancer Institute (NCI) risk factors. All
participants meet with a certified genetic counselor to discuss breast
cancer risk and appropriate screening guidelines and with a registered
nurse to focus on breast cancer prevention, including instruction on
self-breast exam. Women at high risk are offered a genetic consultation,
genetic testing when appropriate, and meet with a physician for further
The High Risk Breast Cancer Program combines the latest medical and
scientific knowledge with the most advanced surveillance and diagnostic
methods. Women and their family members concerned about breast cancer
can undergo an evaluation by a team of breast cancer specialists which
a risk assessment
a clinical breast exam
screening tests (FNA, ductal lavage)
genetic counseling, assessment and education about breast cancer
risk and potential implications for family members
a personalized surveillance plan
Who is at Risk for Breast Cancer?
All women are at risk:
Age: The number one risk factor for developing
breast cancer is age. The older you are, the greater the risk of
developing the disease. Four out of five breast cancers are
diagnosed in women over fifty.
Family History of Cancer - Genetic Inheritance
One or more first degree relatives (mother, sister, daughter)
who had breast cancer, particularly before menopause. OR two or
more other close relatives such as aunts, cousins with a history
of breast cancer, especially at a young age.
Ashkenazi Jewish Descent: Some individuals of
Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish heritage have been found to
have an inherited characteristic that may lead to breast or
Certain Breast Changes: Having a diagnosis of
atypical hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) or
having had two or more breast biopsies for other benign
conditions may increase a woman's risk.
Estrogen May Play a Role: Beginning your
menstrual periods at an early age; going through menopause at a
late age; having no children; having your first pregnancy after
Who Should be Evaluated?
Women and their family members who:
Are concerned about their risk of developing breast cancer
Are at increased risk of breast cancer requiring a consultation
for prevention options and a personalized breast cancer
surveillance plan with a breast cancer specialist
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.